A prime question people always ask me is “How long does wine last after you open it?” Most people like to enjoy a glass of wine occasionally, but they’re unsure about how long a bottle of wine lasts. Wine is the result of the fermentation of different varieties of grapes.
Once a bottle of wine is opened its days are numbered if it isn’t stored correctly. Not everyone knows how to store wine, and most don’t know that every bottle of wine doesn’t have the same shelf life. The purpose of this article is to give you all the crucial information you need to know about how long wine is good for after you open it.
A bottle of wine can last for many years as long as it remains unopened, and if it’s stored properly. Wine can last for decades, and the quality of the types of many different varieties of wine enhances over time. More expensive bottles of wine typically have a much longer shelf life. Inexpensive wine isn’t meant to last for multiple years, so it’s recommended that you drink them within a year after they’re purchased. Check out this little storage unit for your wines.
Cheaper shelf wines are intended to be consumed while fresh and young in the bottle, which is relatively soon after they’re purchased. If you have an expensive high-quality bottle of wine, you should store it correctly in your pantry and let it age. Wine aging is a process that influences the taste of the wine, but it doesn’t make it go bad. Expensive bottles of wine usually have been stored for years, so they have aged and have developed a more delicious taste like no other.
Be sure to check out “How to Store Wine After Opening” as well for tips.
When you are storing wine, it’s important to remember to keep the bottle in a lying position. By keeping the bottle in a lying position, the cork will stay moistened with will prevent it from deteriorating or shrinking. If the cork develops holes, air will try to enter the bottle, and the wine will go bad and stop aging. Wine should be stored in a cool, dark place, kept at a constant temperature of 50-55°F (13°C) with slightly angled shelves. Storing wine is very important, especially if you plan to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a single bottle.
After You Open the Bottle
Once you open a bottle of wine, you should drink it within the next week because it starts to deteriorate right away. Never leave any bottle of wine open for too long because too much oxidation will ruin the taste. The wine becomes flat and muddy and completely unpalatable. This can and will happen, even if you use a stopper or cork the bottle once they have been opened.
You should store an opened bottle of wine in the fridge and keep the seal tight if you plan to drink it again later that week if you want to preserve the wine in the meantime. You should also never store a bottle of wine above the fridge, or under the stove because when the appliances are on the bottle will start to be heated.
Professional bottle stoppers are very useful in preserving the fresh taste of a wine once the bottle is opened, but it’s impossible to completely halt the degradation of wine once it has been opened. The shelf life of wine depends on a variety of factors, such as the preparation method, the vintage, label, and how it is stored.
How to Tell if Opened-Wine Has Gone Bad
- If a bottle of red wine tastes like dessert wine or tastes sweet, that means the bottle has been overexposed to heat and is undrinkable.
- If the cork is pushed out of the bottle, that’s also a sign that the wine has overheated and expanded.
- A wine that lacks a fruit taste, or has astringent/chemical flavors has already gone bad.
- If your wine tastes fizzy, but it isn’t sparkling wine.
- A brown hue in red wine demonstrates that the liquid is past its prime. White wine is oxidized when it has darkened to a deep yellow or brownish straw color.
- The aroma is moldy or resembles a musty room or vinegar smell; it’s turned.
- Always examine the smell, look, and color of a bottle of wine before you drink it to be safe.
Also, check out “How to Tell if Wine is Bad?” for a more in-depth look to see if your wine went bad.
The Shelf Life of Different Types of Wine
- Shelf Life = 4-5 weeks
Four to five weeks is the maximum amount of time a bottle of fortified wine once it has been opened before it begins to degrade and lose all those deep, complex flavors. Fortified wine lasts longer because of their more significant amount of sugar and higher alcohol content than other wines.
Read up more about fortified wine by going to “What is Fortified Wine?“.
- Shelf Life= 3-5 days
The majority of bottles of red will be fine to drink up to five days after they’re opened. The best way to store red wine in a cool, humid place that has no direct sunlight. Check out this affordable wine container here, perfect to stack up in a pantry. Acids and tannins are the important chemicals that make up the structure and body of the red wines will start to break down after the cork is removed from the bottle. Tannins and acids protect wine from the damage of oxygen. The more tannins in a wine, the longer you get with them. Light reds, like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais, which are low on the tannin scale, won’t last as long as vibrant red wines.
Rosé & Lighter White Wines
- Shelf Life= 5 to 7 days
White wines and most rosé wines are always going to be most satisfying poured from a freshly opened bottle. White wine is springy and acidic, full of life and sharp fruit and mineral notes. Light rosé wines and white wines are still fresh and maintain delicious flavor in the fridge for up to five or seven days.
Full-Body White Wine
- Shelf Life= 2-3 days
White wines come across a fair amount of oxygen during the aging process they undergo before being released, so they tend to deteriorate more quickly once opened. White wines such as Trebbiano and Chardonnay are beloved because of their fullness and richness that is unlike any other wine.
Check out “How Long Does White Wine Last?” to see really the life span of your white wine.
What’s your favorite wine? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to take a picture of your glass of wine and tag us on Instagram to be featured on our page.
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Bottoms up, we’ll uncork ya later! 🍷